Stay on ESA!

SDPs casestudy blogpost

We want to share this news from the Benefits Training Company about someone who was told to claim Universal Credit (UC) but should have stayed on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

As far as we understand it, the Benefits Training Company is saying that although Mr B split up from his partner, his ill-health remained the same (no change) so he should have stayed on ESA, he did not have a change of circumstances.  By starting a UC claim, Mr B’s contributions-based ESA was converted to ‘new style ESA’ which doesn’t include severe disability premiums.

We are seeking clarification, as a couple splitting up is treated as a change of circumstances.


?‘Mr B transferred from Incapacity Benefit to Contributory ESA (old style) around 2011.  Mr B lived with his partner until they separated in September 2019.  Mr B’s partner worked and so they did not qualify for a top-up of income-related ESA.  Mr B has been in receipt of PIP enhanced rate daily living component since last year.  When Mr B’s partner moved out in September 2019 Mr B reported this to the DWP and he should have been awarded income related ESA including a Severe Disability Premium, but he was instead advised to claim Universal Credit which he did.  As a result of DWP error, Mr B is likely to be at least £120 per month worse off.’



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